August 01, 2009
Sumilon Island, finally!
I got free passes for a Day Tour at Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort! Last Saturday, I had the privilege of joining a group of fellow bloggers in attending an event that was initiated by Ruben of Pinoyworld. We simply had to talk about our experience in Maribago Bluewater Cebu in our blogs and then submit our entries for review. The first 30 bloggers who qualify will have a day tour. Sumilon Bluewater Beach resort is owned and managed by Almont Holdings Incorporated (AHI) and is the sister resort of Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort. Here’s a link to my entry below.
I actually got lucky because I didn’t get to submit as early as I could and there were already a number of bloggers who got qualified. Anyway, it was two days before the said date when I received a text from Ruben that we got in. I was really happy because I never thought I’d be able to make it. I still came from my shift at work and we headed straight to the entrance at the North Wing of SM City Cebu.
We arrived late too but it was a good thing that they still waited for us to depart. I only grabbed a couple of bites from Doi’s sandwich before the trip that’s why I was a bit hungry in the van. But I was glad that we stopped by a fastfood shop in Carcar wherein we ate some breakfast… FREE! How thoughtful that they gave us free breakfast when it’s not the main highlight of the event.
At Jollibee (the fastfood store), we were given some brochures and other materials for us to refer to since this is after all, a daytour. At least we’d know what to expect and where we were heading. We also registered our names and got to mingle a little with fellow bloggers.
When we went back to our vans, despite how fast the driver was manning the wheel, I managed to get some shut-eyes since I didn’t have any sleep at all. Ah, the life of a nocturnal creature.
The whole trip took about 2 hours plus but when we arrived at the jump-off point to the island, we were already greeted by the staff with cold towels for our faces plus some tea as well. How refreshing it was after travelling. In customer service, it’s these simple gestures that matter the most, I should know. I work in an industry where customer service is of top priority. I’ll have to blog about it one of these days. Thoughtfulness goes a long way even if it’s by word of mouth or in this case, blogging.
Going back, the 15-20 minute trip to Sumilon island was actually exciting but a bit scary since the waves were crashing on our boat. But the boat was really big so I didn’t worry that much. It’s a good thing I sat at the top so I didn’t get wet; only I had to hold on to the bars to stay balanced. Before the boat ported, Ruben gave us a tour of the island by going around it which was really cool since we got to see the different sides of the resort and what we could do.
Sumilon Bluewater’s Resident Manager is Greg Perral and his friendly staff greeted us on the island and we were welcomed to the Island Pavilion where it houses the resort restaurant. It’s an octagonal open-air construction that has a great view of the ocean and mainland Cebu. We ate some snacks there and we were given a background about the island and what they offer and why they tapped on the online community to promote their services.
The employees in the resort are actually those residents in the near town which is good cause it provides jobs to them and it assures the island too that it’s going to be properly handled since they live on it. Sumilon island, according to Greg, is also best for honeymooners as the place has a tranquil atmosphere perfect for couples. At that time, even if there were a lot of us and the weather was bad, it was still peaceful and calm.
What they advise tourists to do if they’re from Manila is find a plane that goes to Dumaguete as it’s much easier and faster when you traverse from Dumaguete to Sumilon compared to Cebu to Sumilon.
After the orientation, we had a tour on the different rooms that they offered. They have 14 Deluxe Rooms with private veranda and lounge bar, each having a mini bar, ceiling fan, air conditioning, writing desk and dresser. This is a high-class resort so you should also expect that you’ll get your money’s worth. There were a lot of us so I had to take my time to be the last person to step out of the place since I wanted to make sure the coast was clear and I could take some shots without anybody in it. hehe.
But one of the things that really amazed me with the rooms were their huge, HUGE bathrooms! I even joked at one of their staff that I could just sleep at the bathroom. haha. Really I can’t stress this any more, their bathrooms are really BIG!
They also have some benches and chairs outside if you just want to be one with nature. These are situated on the cliffs wherein you can get a very nice view of the ocean. I can just imagine reading a good book or having a good laugh with friends over a couple of
tea *ehem* beer and just letting the cool breeze keeping our heads light.
After the tour of the rooms, we headed straight to the pavilion again where the buffet was already served. It’s pretty convenient actually since if you purchase a day tour here in Sumilon Bluewater island, it already comes with a lunch buffet so you wouldn’t have to bother about any other expenses. Just bring yourself! Our Sumptuous food offerings were provided by our in-house island kitchen managed by Chef de Partie Buddy Amodia. It was a mixture of local and international cuisine with fruits and desserts . I couldn’t get my hands off their pork adobo, as well as their grilled squid and buttered chicken. Sheesh typing these food is making me hungry.
I got to mingle with new and familiar faces in the blogging community of Cebu which was really interesting since I got to know the people behind blogs I’ve come across. Clearly, online media has really grown that companies should tap on this form of marketing strategy. The thing about blogging as a powerful tool of media is that it relies on personal experiences of actual customers who've experienced the product or service as a means of advertisement. I, for one, would like to read more on blogs because it’s more REAL. Of course, for companies, it would be a risk, considering that you'll never know how your customer would react and write. But then, it's much better because it reaches a broader audience and it would make the staff and personnel more alert in making sure that EVERYBODY is treated equally with respect and good service and not only those who look rich or so.
After our lunch, it was time to us to do whatever we wanted in the island. Being a beach bum, I wanted to go to the sandbar right away so Doi and I went to the western part to check out the area.
I really love the beach that’s why I think I was a fish in my past life. There’s something about it that reminds me of memories of childhood with relatives going out for some sun that makes me nostalgic and keeps me going back again. As you can see here in this blog, I have a LOT of beach adventures and escapades.
After a couple of minutes, we were joined by other bloggers in crashing the waves –> yeah, we were the ones who crashed the waves, not the other way around. There was a sandstorm too so you can imagine how painful it was for the strong wind to blow the sand right at me that I had to face the opposite direction to keep me from having so much sand slapped in my face. It’s one of those moments wherein you wonder why you had to go to the tip of the sandbar and look like a jackass afterwards.
You would think that the beach was enough, I had to go to the other parts of the island to make sure that I am able to explore the whole area. We went up and trekked, looking for the lighthouse unsuccessfully. We could’ve trekked a bit further but the wind was really strong and it started to rain real hard that we had to just retreat. All the while I was thinking that this is a nice place to shoot an adventure film in the forest or even just an indie film. Feeling all lost and scared at the same time, it felt like a Blairwitch flick with all the fallen trees and shrubs. hehe.
After a couple more walks, I saw that their lagoon was empty so I had the privilege of trying their kayaks. I loved the idea that the island showed different colors. The blue waves with the golden sand, then the brown forest-like trek and now this green earthy lagoon. I wonder how the other areas would be like. Grey maybe? Is grey even a color? hehe.
We were actually at the Eastern part of the resort when I realized that it was almost time for us to leave already. But then I forgot that they still had their infinity pool to attack. haha. We went to the pavilion again to check out the pool and had fun swimming and looking at the sea. Time to get emo. harhar.
What’s great about the resort is that it’s a complete package of adventure. You get to try a number of activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, hiking and so much more. Did I mention that they offer wifi service too?
The weather didn’t cooperate since it was raining most of the time but we still had a lot of fun. You can really see how prepared people are when the weather is bad which makes you believe that you're going to have a much better experience if the weather is good.
When it was time for us to change, they prepared some snacks again for us; but aside from that, we were also given some take-home dinner. Wow, this is the life!
I was feeling down under the weather during our company outing at Maribago Bluewater and I was actually experiencing the same when we got to the Sumilon island resort
What I like most about the whole event is how well-taken cared of we were by the staff. From the free wet towels during our arrival, to our breakfast, snack, lunch and take-home dinner to the transportation from the city and back. Of course, when you promote something to the media, companies would always give their best. Sure it may all be sales talk but with the amount that comes with every package that they have, the words were backed-up well with class because of the great service and amenities. You can actually check out the Sumilon Bluewater blog for more information.
My only suggestion would be to have more bathrooms to accommodate more than 2 people. Maybe because there were a number of us which explains the traffic when changing clothes. Still, it would be better if they have more than 2 shower rooms for the public.
I tell you, I’ve been wanting to go to this place ever since I was able to watch a Sumilon Bluewater video that my friend had that featured a number of great sceneries. Now that I have, it’s definitely one of those must-places to visit when in Cebu. Even if the rate is a bit pricey, you get value for your money. Just that in this case, I didn’t have to pay at all!
This is one of those experiences where I’m thankful that I’m a blogger. I got to meet new people and I’m hoping to join more activities like these, soon.
Update: Check out the rest of the pictures in my album at edsnaps.com. Click on the link below.
DAY TOUR PACKAGE
Weekdays – 1500 Php per person
Weekends & Holidays – 2000 Php per person
For more information…
Rm 1918 Cityland Herrera Tower Herrera cor. Valero Sts. Salcedo Village Makati City, Philippines
Telephone No.: (63-2) 917 5751; (63-2) 887 1348
Fax No.: (63-2) 893 5391
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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